The New Western Buck – Healthy Cocktail Recipes by Tricia Alley

By Tricia Alley, So Cal Director of Mixology for Southern Wine and Spirits


I am one of the luckiest gals in the world. I have been mentored by the most brilliant and generous people in this craft of the cocktail. Marcos Tello, a great leader in the industry, taught me about Family. I am implying a double entendre with the word “Family” but the second implied expression should be explained.

Like the five mother sauces of cuisine, the craft of cocktails flow from general recipe categories. One of these categories – also called “Families” or “Sets” – is called “Bucks”. Bucks are composed of a base spirit, citrus (often lime) and some application of ginger and carbonation. Sometimes a Buck cocktail will feature Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale, sometimes freshly extracted ginger juice, sugar and club soda. So when I am thinking about healthy cocktails, I often think of the wondrous benefits of ginger.

From cancer to migraine headaches to the seemingly miraculous digestive benefits, ginger is recognized by holistic and scientific researchers as a natural aide. Our cocktail subject features that health aide in addition to natural sugar and fresh, seasonal ingredients packed with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Another star of this show is a delicious Gin called Aviation. Aviation Gin is the brainchild of a friend and colleague Ryan Magarian, who coined the name of the Gin flavor profile “New Western Dry.” In addition to juniper, New Western Dry Gins tend to boast a forwardness of fun and delicious botanicals (with their attendant health benefits!).

The New Western Buck
2 oz Aviation Gin
1 Dash of Angostura Bitters
1 Large or 2 Medium Strawberries
.5 oz Fresh Ginger Syrup*
.25 oz JM Sugarcane Sirop
.75 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz Club Soda
Glassware: 12 oz Collins Glass

Method: In a mixing glass or tin, muddle the strawberry. Add the other ingredients accept for club soda. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. After shaking, add 1 oz of Club Soda. Fill Collins Glass with fresh ice and strain beverage into glass. Garnish with a half of a strawberry and a nice sprig of basil for added aromatherapy.

*Ginger Syrup: Peel fresh ginger. Feed ginger root through a centrifugal juice extractor to extract pure ginger juice. Combine ginger juice with evaporated cane sugar in a measurement of one part to one part by volume. Stir until completely dissolved. For speedier dissolution, first make a finer grain of evaporated sugar by pulverizing dry sugar in a high powered blender for about a minute (one cup at a time).

Here’s to your health! Cheers!


Legal Stuff: Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid : ). For more info, check out our site:

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